||HEADLINE NEWS - Features
Tuesday - 10/30/2001
- Age: 36
- College: Purdue University
- Birthdate: March 10, 1965 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Rod attended R. Nelson Snider High School, where he was a Parade and Blue Chip All-American. Rod was also a two-time state champion in the low and high hurdles.
Rod is a 15-year veteran who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 10th pick in the 1987 draft. Rod signed with the Ravens as a free agent in 1998.
After making the switch from cornerback to safety in 1999, he became the first player in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl as a cornerback, kick returner and safety.
Rod has 59 career interceptions, leader among active players. Rod is eighth in NFL history among all-time interceptors with 59. Rod is tied with Ken Houston for most TDs on INTs in NFL History with nine.
On Jerome Bettis and the Steerlers’ running attack:
“He is good. He is big, strong and he has great quickness for a back with that size. He likes to go north to south, and he does it very well. Their offensive line is playing well for him. Their play, mixed with his ability, will definitely result in yardage.”
On Bill Cowher:
“Bill is a defensive coach. He is a motivator who believes in his team and puts a lot of confidence in them. In turn, they are very confident in him. He will tell his guys the right things in order to get them ready to play. Bill is an honest guy and we had a good relationship. He is a guy you can go and talk to about anything; and, if he thinks what you have to say is valid, and can help the team, he will take action.”
Rod’s most memorable moment as a Steeler:
“The AFC Championship game in 1995. That game wasn’t decided until the last play on a ‘Hail Mary’ by Jim Harbaugh that went incomplete in the endzone.”
On being considered the “elder” of the Ravens defense:
“Just one of those things. It means I have been blessed…for a long time. I came in this league in 1987 and most of these guys were in 5th, 6th or 7th grade. If you are blessed to play in this league as long as I have, then eventually you will be one of the oldest players in the locker room.”
Shannon Sharpe on Rod being the “elder” in the Ravens locker room:
“I think Rod’s first interception came off of Bart Starr. Since that time, he has had about what, 57 or 58. If you have that many interceptions, then you have to be old and you have had to play in this league a long time. With that old age comes a lot of experience. The younger guys should just listen to him.”
What Rod savors the most about being on the Ravens:
“Just being around the guys and sharing experiences with them on the field, in the locker room and off the field. I love those moments and building friendships that will last way beyond our football years.”
On the prospect of going into the Hall of Fame as a Steeler:
“First of all, I don’t know if I am going to be in the Hall of Fame, and I don’t know yet what I will go in as. I will cross that bridge when I get to it.”